Will Starlink Wi-Fi Onboard Destroy Your Cruise Vacation Bliss?

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What’s your favorite thing about cruising? I am asked this all the time and while I love the sea and waking up in a new place each day and the food and the amazing service of the crew, I have to put getting away from my plugged in life pretty high on that list. My wife puts her phone in airplane mode and leaves it in the safe for pretty much an entire cruise!

a sunset over the ocean

In the recent past having a reliable internet connection onboard has been decidedly hit and miss. It has also been expensive and often times difficult to log out properly resulting in all of the minutes you paid for going poof the first day of the cruise requiring spending some of your precious vacation time waiting to talk to someone in internet services to get the minutes put back into your account.

Now many cruise lines are getting set up with Starlink to provide much better internet services to guests onboard. But I have to ask, is this really a good thing? After all, I go on vacation to enjoy vacation and while I may want to check on this or that depending on the length of my trip, I certainly do not want to maintain any level of office hours while at sea! Will this result in work spaces onboard full of busy people getting their work done while not enjoying cruise life? Will more reliable internet mean that we will all be subjected to listening to screeching facetime conversations for the duration of our cruise now like we do in lounges while trying to get to our cruise? What about the possibility of employers rejecting work/life balance demands in favor of keeping business running 24/7 without interruption simply because you can stay connected even on your cruise vacation?

a cat lying in a box

I am sure that if this service is offered to crew at some discounted price they would greatly appreciate having more opportunities to communicate with family at home during their many months long contracts. I know there are guests who would also greatly appreciate more reliable connectivity when needed, and I cannot deny that I am one of them simply from a less frustration aspect of the current services offered.

In this absolutely amazing, crystal-clear picture, a SpaceX rocket carrying Starlink satellites is seen near Chris' neighborhood in Los Angeles shortly after taking off from Vandenberg Space Force Base on July 19, 2023.
In this absolutely amazing, crystal-clear picture, a SpaceX rocket carrying Starlink satellites is seen near Chris‘ neighborhood in Los Angeles shortly after taking off from Vandenberg Space Force Base on Wednesday night, July 19, 2023. (©Chris Carley)

So while on the surface this seems like an improvement of service and overall a good thing, I can’t shake the feeling that some level of the serenity and calmness of being unplugged from everyday life will be lost with this change. What do you think? – René

 

 

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René de Lambert
René de Lamberthttp://www.FrequentFloaters.com
René de Lambert has been a travel blogger for over 10 years covering the travel industry - including cruising.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I’ve already been on a StarLink equipped ship with people FaceTiming with their speaker blasting in common areas. If this becomes pervasive, and I suspect it will, the ships should consider creating “phone zones” much like smoking areas, where passengers can shout away on their Zoom and FaceTime calls and film their Tiktok videos away from those looking to escape those very things on shore. I’ve noticed that in the theaters they’ve started asking people to put away their cellphones at the start of the shows, this was unnecessary just a few years ago.

  2. The whole point of choosing a cruise vacation is that your phone doesn’t work at sea. Otherwise we would just fly to where we are going. I’m like your wife. The phone stays in airplane mode on the boat and I check work email in port on the free wifi. That’s it. If you properly set up your vacation, it can be done. Those who say it can’t are people who choose to work during their vacay (for whatever reasons)

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